Bukky Leo

Afrobeat Visions

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Bukky Leo began his career in great company, playing with Fela Kuti and Tony Allen; Afro-beat boasts no bigger names. From there he moved into acid jazz, back when people cared about that style, but now he's returned to the style that nurtured him with plenty of modern ideas, bringing in plenty of loops and electronica. In a field where the groove is the key, all the technology could quickly excise the soul of the music, but full marks to Leo, he keeps his sounds fresh and real. The rhythms roar, and his singing becomes a linchpin for everything else. In fact, even with all the additions, this music bears a closer relationship to old U.S. soul than anything now being called R&B. There's plenty to listen to here, and for such a studio concoction, there's a great deal of warmth in it, with grooves that establish and don't quit. Proof -- if you still needed it -- that Afro-beat can be reinvented.

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